We understand that the Government will publish a statement tomorrow in response to Parliament’s Joint Scrutiny Committee report on the Draft Defamation Bill.
We think it will fall short of the vital reforms the Libel Reform Campaign, together with many of you, has been calling for.
We are pleased that the Government is committed to bringing forward legislation, which is testament to your support and to all of you that have provided evidence and shared your experiences about the impact that the current libel laws are having.
However, we need to ensure that concerns are met on companies’ use of libel laws, internet publishing and the multiple publication rule, libel tourism, the need for a public interest defence and a strengthened defence of fair comment, and hurdles to prevent trivial cases. We will publish an initial response to the Government’s statement tomorrow on www.libelreform.org.
The Libel Reform Campaign will continue to work constructively with Government to persuade them that they can meet their manifesto commitments. We hope you will continue to work with us to make sure this is the case.
Síle and Mike